A cease and desist letter is a legal warning to stop doing something. It is commonly used in the following situations:
- patent infringement
- trademark dilution or passing off
- copyright violation
- (spoken) slander or (written) libel regarding a person's actions or character
- "interference" in a contractual relationship, actively attempting to get one or more parties to breach a contract
- "restraint of trade" or monopoly reinforcing activities, which can be very broadly interpreted to include off-putting comments about a whole industry, or, a range of suppliers within it; In some places, like Texas, even defaming food, e.g. beef that has eaten feed made of ground-up cows, is actionable.
Effectively, such letters threaten a civil lawsuit; In cases of libel or some forms of restraint of trade, criminal penalties may apply. They are often used to silence critics of corporate abuses, and we must expect they will be received often by the Consumerium Governance Organization. It must in turn be able to respond clearly why it believes it is not guilty of these particular violations. Of course, one cannot argue that the law should not exist, that is the role of a political party or lobby group, which we are not. The best responses to each type of letter should be detailed here, and the type of information we would need to respond to each type of letter effectively to end the controversy, must be solicited in wiki management.